I’m eagerly anticipating the wedding this Friday of Britain’s young Prince William, heir to the throne, and his lovely college classmate Kate Middleton. I’m going to get up early to watch the extended proceedings on television, though I’m not quite up to going to Wilmington’s Theatre N where the proceedings will be projected onto a big screen starting at 4 a.m. I’ll be content to watch the pageantry unfold at home on my own big screen.
I realize that not everyone is as excited as I am about the big event. But here’s why I think it’s worth getting up early for:
First, we really need some good news. The news has been so bad lately. Earthquake, tsunami, nuclear disaster in Japan. Extreme and destructive weather across the country and the world. Continued war and violence in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, and now Libya. Political gridlock and crisis in Washington, D.C. Economies burdened by crushing debt around the world. Unemployment, home foreclosures, failing banks, government cutbacks, drug violence. The list just goes on and on.
I’ve looked through my blog for the last few months, and it seems like a big downer except for the identification of the happiest person in America.
Second, the royal wedding is an event of historical significance, reminding us all of our place in history. Since I was a history major in college, I may feel this a bit more passionately than some others. World history has always been measured to some extent, at least in the West, and especially in the English-speaking world, by the reigns of British monarchs.
My life, like that of most everyone alive today, has coincided with the reign of Prince William’s grandmother Queen Elizabeth. Her parents were the wartime King George VI and the Queen Mother Elizabeth whose place in history was foreshadowed by the events portrayed in the movie “The King’s Speech”.
I remember distinctly the fairy tale wedding of Prince William’s parents, Prince Charles and then Lady Diana Spencer, exactly thirty years ago, also at Westminster Abbey in London, the birth of their two sons, the unraveling of their marriage, and the tragedy of Princess Diana’s death in a traffic accident.
The third reason I’m looking forward to the royal wedding is simply appreciation that romantic love is a rare and precious thing. Finding it is like finding the needle in a haystack. So whenever two people find that unique quality in each other, that’s a cause for celebration.
So hooray for William and Kate on their big day! May they reign in a world at peace with itself and with prosperity for everyone who lives in it.